I’m not sure why I watched Riverworld all the way through, but I did. Tamoh Penikett gave another solid performance, though I have to say his character is pretty much the same as in BSG and Dollhouse. Mark Deklin was entertaining as Samuel Clemens, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a former classmate — Alex Zahara — playing the German airship captain (and a nice performance too).
Overall, the dialogue was painfully shallow and the story thin. I don’t know if it was the editing or the crap script, but in some places it was almost incomprehensible. Scenes jump from one place to another without any establishing shot and events seem to happen without any reason. The sense of place was completely lacking any coherence. Scenes just kind of… happened… in non-specific places with no established relation to other places.
The blue aliens were even more simplistic and weak than the big-headed aliens in Star Trek’s pilot, The Cage. At least those caricatures had a back story.
To sum up: it’s a nonsensical, incoherent adaptation of classic sci-fi, and some fine acting was drowned by crap dialogue, clumsy editing, an obvious lack of character development, and a story that barely makes even rudimentary sense. I would like to see the producer and director tied to each other with heavy chain and dropped into the lake where they filmed it in retribution for the three hours that I will never get back.
Was the book any better?